Austin Badon

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Austin Joseph Badon, Jr.

Louisiana State Representative for
District 100 (Orleans Parish)
In office
2004 – January 11, 2016
Preceded by Pat Swilling
Succeeded by John Bagneris

Born December 14, 1964
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Nationality African American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Therese Badon
Residence New Orleans, Louisiana
Alma mater St. Augustine High School (New Orleans)

University of New Orleans
Troy University

Occupation Administrator at Nunez Community College
Religion Roman Catholic

Austin Joseph Badon, Jr. (born December 14, 1964),[1] is an African-American educational administrator in his native New Orleans, Louisiana, who is a Democratic former state representative for District 100 in Orleans Parish. First elected in 2003, he was term-limited in the 2015 state elections.[2]

Background

Badon graduated from the Roman Catholic-affiliated St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.[2] In 1988, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans and in 2003 obtained a Master of Arts from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Since 2000, he has been the coordinator of workforce development at Nunez Community College in Chalmette in St. Bernard Parish in suburban New Orleans.[3]

Badon is Roman Catholic. His wife is Therese Badon. During the second half of the 1990s, he was a program director for the Boy Scouts. From 2001 to 2003, he was chairman of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. He is a former short-term host on public television in New Orleans.[3]

Political life

In the 2003 general election, Badon unseated the one-term Democratic incumbent Pat Swilling for the District 100 House seat, 6,688 votes (53.3 percent) to 5,851 (46.7 percent).[4] In a special election in 2001, Swilling was chosen to succeed the Democrat Cynthia Willard-Lewis after she was elected to the New Orleans City Council.

Badon won his second term in 2007 over another New Orleans Democrat, Catherine Pleasant, 3,845 votes (72 percent) to 1,497 (28 percent).[5]

In 2010, Badon ran unsuccessfully for the District E seat on the New Orleans City Council.[6] He was unopposed for his third term in the House in 2011.[7]

Badon served on the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus. Badon is chairman of the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee and sits as well on the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.[2]

Badon's legislative ratings have ranged from 38 to 78 percent from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. In 2012, he was rated 67 percent by the National Federation of Independent Business. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 67 and 50 percent, respectively; in 2004, when he entered the House the Family Forum ranked him 22 percent. In 2013 and 2014, he was rated 50 and 80 percent, respectively, by Louisiana Right to Life. He had a 67 percent approval from the Louisiana Association of Educators. In 2006, he was rated 64 percent by the Humane Society.[8]

In 2014, Badon voted for the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; only five House members opposed the measure. That same year, he co-sponsored but did not vote on final passage of the issue of extending the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted to forbid the transportation of dogs in open truck beds on interstate highways. He voted to repeal the anti-sodomy laws; the measure failed in the House, 27-67.[9]

In 2013, Badon sponsored the reduction of penalties for the possession of marijuana. He opposed lifetime concealed carry gun permits and the use of such permits in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages, but he opposed making information on weapon permits part of the public record. He voted against an increase in judicial pay and abstained on the matter of ending the mandatory retirement age for judges. He voted to prohibit the use of telephones and hand-held devices while driving. He supported state tax incentives to recruit a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana. He voted for state income tax deductions for taxpayers contributing to scholarship funds. Badon co-sponsored parole eligibility for non-violent offenders. He opposed reducing the number of hours that polling locations remain open. Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days. He voted to establish a commission to develop alternatives to the state income tax. He opposed the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients. In 2011, he voted for a permanent cigarette tax. He backed legislation that year which attempted to halt bullying in public schools; the measure failed in the House, 43-54.[9]

In 2014, Badon introduced HB 199 to introduced HB 199 to add new discrimination protections under state law for age, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation. "This is really about basic human rights. People should not be discriminated [against] for anything," Badon said.[10]

In May 2015, Badon introduced a similar measure to guarantee that individuals seeking employment or housing are "treated equally" regardless of "sexual orientation or sexual choice, age or disability." Badon that said his constitutents support the measure. He also criticized Governor Bobby Jindal for support of the religious freedom measure pushed by then state Representative Mike Johnson, a Republican from Benton in Bossier Parish who was elected U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district in 2016.[11]

References

  1. Austin Badon. Mylife.com. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (Orleans Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Austin J. Badon, Jr.'s Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 15, 2003.
  5. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, March 6, 2010.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 22, 2011.
  8. Austin J. Badon Jr.'s Ratings and Endorsements. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Austin J. Badon, Jr.'s Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on July 29, 2020.
  10. Jeremy Alford, "LGBT legislation in Louisiana," Gambit: The Best of New Orleans, accessed May 1, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  11. Meg Gatto, "Rep. Austin Badon wants to end discrimination based on sexual orientation," KCBD-TV (NBC in Lubbock, Texas), May 11, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.